Gov. Mark Sanford has asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to block a state ethics panel investigating the governor from releasing its initial findings to lawmakers who could decide to remove him from office.
Sanford, who vowed to fight "tooth and nail" any effort to remove him from office, argues that releasing the report to lawmakers could be used for political purposes and could compromise his defense.
Sanford argues that only prosecutorial bodies can gain access to the State Ethics Commission's preliminary report, which is akin to an indictment and does not contain the governor's full defense.
The Ethics Commission maintains that the S.C. House would become a prosecutor, and therefore entitled to the report, if it opens impeachment proceedings against Sanford.
Sanford has been under scrutiny since returning from a secret five-day trip to Argentina in June and admitting to an extramarital affair with a woman who lives there.
Attorney General Henry McMaster asked the Ethics Commission to review Sanford's use of state and private planes, his purchase of business-class airfare and his use of campaign funds.
In the court filing, Sanford attorney Butch Bowers argued that a secret investigation protects its results.
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